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Fire Hazards of Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres

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Presentation on theme: "Fire Hazards of Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fire Hazards of Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres
TP N° 12/05 Fire Hazards of Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL GASES ASSOCIATION AISBL AVENUE DES ARTS 3 – 5 s B-1210 BRUSSELS PHONE s FAX s  :  EIGA EIGA grants permission to reproduce this publication provided the Association is acknowledged as the source

2 DISCLAIMER All technical publications of EIGA or under EIGA’s name, including Codes of practice, Safety procedures and any other technical information contained in such publications were obtained from sources believed to be reliable and are based on technical information and experience currently available from members of EIGA and others at the date of their issuance. While EIGA recommends reference to or use of its publications by its members, such reference to or use of EIGA’s publications by its members or third parties are purely voluntary and not binding. Therefore, EIGA or its members make no guarantee of the results and assume no liability or responsibility in connection with the reference to or use of information or suggestions contained in EIGA’s publications. EIGA has no control whatsoever as regards, performance or non performance, misinterpretation, proper or improper use of any information or suggestions contained in EIGA’s publications by any person or entity (including EIGA members) and EIGA expressly disclaims any liability in connection thereto. EIGA’s publications are subject to periodic review and users are cautioned to obtain the latest edition. EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL GASES ASSOCIATION AISBL AVENUE DES ARTS 3 – 5 s B-1210 BRUSSELS PHONE s FAX s  :

3 Properties of oxygen Oxygen supports life
Oxygen is essential to life Its normal concentration in the air we breathe is approximately 21 % We can breathe in a 50-60% oxygen enriched atmosphere for several hours under medical care (oxygen therapy) But it is dangerous to do so without knowing the associated risks due to oxygen enrichment !

4 Properties of oxygen Oxygen supports combustion
It is not flammable but supports combustion. Most materials burn fiercely sometimes explosively in oxygen ! As the oxygen concentration in air increases, the potential fire risk increases. At concentrations above 23 % in air, the situation becomes dangerous due to the increased fire hazard. This van caught fire very quickly, due to the driver smoking in an oxygen enriched atmosphere.

5 Properties of oxygen Oxygen gives no warning
Oxygen is colourless, odourless and tasteless Oxygen enrichment cannot be detected by the human senses !

6 Properties of oxygen Oxygen is heavier than air
Being heavier than air, oxygen can accumulate in low lying areas ! such as pits or underground rooms, especially in cases of liquid spillage.

7 Necessary conditions for a fire
For a fire or explosion to occur, three elements are required: Combustible material, Oxygen and an Ignition source Combustible Material Ignition source Oxygen When one of the 3 elements is missing, a fire cannot occur!

8 !? !? Oxygen…

9 Leaking equipment is very dangerous
Leaks lead to an oxygen enrichment hazard Leaking connections, flanges, fittings are hazardous. Insufficient ventilation increases the risk Leak test all equipment after assembly or maintenance

10 Liquid Oxygen Spill A spill of liquid oxygen creates a dense cloud of oxygen enriched air as it evaporates. The clothing of personnel entering the cloud will become enriched with oxygen. When liquid oxygen impregnates the soil which contains organic material, e.g. wood, asphalt, etc., a dangerous situation exists, as the organic material is liable to explode when impacted.

11 Combustible materials…

12 Compatibility of materials
Only certain materials are suitable for use in oxygen service Most materials - including metals - will burn in oxygen enriched atmospheres Equipment and material contaminated with oil or grease can ignite easily and burn with explosive violence in oxygen enriched atmospheres

13 Never use oil or grease to lubricate oxygen equipment!
Equipment must be cleaned for oxygen service using approved cleaning agents/methods Check that any material/part or substance you intend to use is approved for oxygen service.

14 Ignition sources…

15 Causes of oxygen fires Impact with combustible material impregnated with oxygen Improper use of oxygen Incorrect operation and maintenance of oxygen systems Use of materials non compatible with oxygen service This oxygen trailer was damaged and persons were killed after oxygen impregnated asphalt exploded. The ignition was caused by the impact of a hook on the road.

16 Do not use oxygen for applications for which it is not intended!
Do not use oxygen as a substitute for air: Powering pneumatic tools Inflating tyres Starting diesel engines Dusting benches, machinery or clothing

17 No flame in oxygen enriched atmospheres
DO NOT SMOKE or use naked flames! Oxygen enriched atmosphere can occur at: Pits, trenches, Low enclosed areas Underground sewers In air separation units, cylinder filling plants,… Around tanker filling Around vents, leaks…

18 No hot work before checking atmosphere
If hot work (welding, flame cutting, soldering, grinding, etc.) has to be carried out, ensure that: the atmosphere has been checked and confirmed as safe Don’t start work without a Work Permit

19 If exposed to an oxygen enriched atmosphere
Ventilate your clothing in the open air for at least 15 minutes before smoking or going near a source of ignition.

20 Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres
Fire Hazards of Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres Work safely ! It is your life!

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